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  1. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    Early memories

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Stormsong07, Jan 7, 2019.

    How likely is it that you could remember -fairly clearly- something that happened when you were 2? I have my MC remembering a random scene in her head all of a sudden-during a conversation about her mother, who is long-dead, she suddenly remembers the last time she saw her alive.
    Does this sound plausible?
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Having memories from the age of two is plausible.

    Having CLEAR memories from that age is less likely but still not impossible.

    But am I interpreting this right; it's the first time your MC has remembered this event? Depending on how old she is, that's very unlikely indeed.
     
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  3. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    She's 17. I was thinking, since her father never talked about her mother, and this is the first time she's really gotten any information about her, that was why the memory suddenly re-surged.
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It's been a while since I looked into it so I would check the latest research, but the idea of repressed memories or spontaneous memory recovery (e.g. through hypnosis) was debunked quite thoroughly. People do experience it but they are false memories, not actual events. Does it matter for your story if the event wasn't as the MC remembered?
     
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  5. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    I was two and one month when my brother was born. I remember looking down at the crib and thinking very clearly: 'So that's supposed to be my brother.' :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    No, the only thing that matters is that she remembers that her mother was a warrior, so she knows that someone in the present is telling the truth about this fact. I had a conversation in the memory that was important, but I'm thinking now that I'll work that part in elsewhere to make it more plausible.
    Maybe if I add in "So that's why I've had all those dreams about my mother wearing armor!" to keep it more accurate? As in, the memory has always kind of been there, and would surface in dreams periodically, but this is the first time she's had information to prove that the memory was true?
     
  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think memories appearing in dreams is even less plausible and (personal opinion) I find information-from-dreams to be a bad plot device.

    Could her mother have left her something warrior-like? A weapon, armour, something symbolic that warriors wear in that world?
     
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  8. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    If her mother was a warrior, might she have disagreed with her father about your MC's upbringing? As a warrior, I'd expect her to be e.g. less concerned about little cuts and bruises, or about just letting the MC run wild behind the house. Maybe the father is more conservative or protective.

    If your MC gets told that her mother was a warrior, might her early hazy memories about tension between mother and father, about who was more focused on propriety and/or squeamish, might these facts make it likely that she believes this fact? You could still have a little bit of uncertainty there, and use that to further tension in your story.
     
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  9. Maggie May

    Maggie May Member

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    Mom was a warrior? Maybe that's why she was so hard when I hugged her. A memory from that age will be more bits and pieces, more of a sense or feeling. Remembering a full conversation I doubt would happen from 2, it might be something overheard at an older age. I remember certain things from that age but it's not a clear memory, I have more of a sense of what I was doing. I could only connect it when my parents were talking about me riding on the shoulders of my Uncle Ted. I was 2, I remember being high up and have an image of the man.
     
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  10. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Supporter Contributor

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    It is very plausible to an extent, and I speak as someone who has had it happen many times when a sight, smell, or gabbing with someone sparked the memory (and I have family who have confirmed these as true memories). What I remember are events that I had reviewed or done a lot as a child, or that had great emotional impact on me when it happened that I have since dropped and forgotten about. I remember images or scents or just the basic idea of the room or object and the emotions surrounding the room or object.

    For example: the first and only time I have ever eaten lobster I'd forgotten about until recently. I remember the basic room's layout (the kitchen of the house I lived in until I was about 5) and I remember that I sat at the table on one of six red chairs (the color taken from another early memory and put together logically) and that my parents, sister, and one of my brothers were there. The lobster was bright orange and strange looking, but the exact appearance of it is hazy at best. I can get whiffs of its taste, but nothing I can really grab on to, though I remember I liked it very much and begged for more until it was gone. That's it.

    Another very early memory is one of my mother making cherry pie from the cherries we picked off our own trees. I remember clearly running into the kitchen and sitting on my knees on one of the red chairs, looking at the cherries in the pie. My mom had a bread knife sitting on the table nearby and I picked it up and asked her what it was for. She told me to be careful because the forked tip was meant for cutting off little children's noses. This memory stuck with me for many years because I feared the forked end of bread knives.

    My husband on the other hand can remember very clearly--words and everything--a great many things from the time he was very young, but he's also like an elephant in that he never forgets a memory.

    Giving your MC a hazy or even clear memory of her mother wearing warrior garb and picking her up or something is very believable to me. An entire conversation that the MC hasn't reviewed in her head from the time it happened is not as believable, though I'd be prone to just accept it and move on because the story's interesting.

    Question: would it be possible to make the MC closer to five years old when her mother died? I think more readers would accept this memory suddenly coming back if she was a little older.
     
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